Equivalencies — A Poem

fauna mammal rodent eastern_chipmunk summer nature beauty

“Eastern Chipmunk” — C.Birde, 6/17

 

If you have one chipmunk,

you have three;

If you have three chipmunks,

you have fifteen;

If you have fifteen,

they will call the day’s news,

in rapid fire staccato,

from the garden bench;

and beneath the old miniature rose;

and from the corner behind the garage

by the rain barrels.

Most likely,

they will excavate

a complex system of tunnels

beneath the side steps

to the converted back porch,

and divert

the flow of fallen rain that

— recently, mysteriously —

began weeping through

the house’s north facing

hundred-plus-year-old

basement wall.

They will expect peanuts,

and will make their requests

from under the lavender hedge;

and beneath the curled, green ferns;

and from all corners

of the house and yard and garden.

Keep a number of nuts tucked

in your pockets at all times,

though this will not prevent them

from heedlessly running

over your bare feet and toes

when you open the door

and stand on the side steps

with that offering.

If you see one chipmunk,

you may see three;

If you see three chipmunks,

you may well see fifteen;

And if you see fifteen,

you had best have your

inter-species agreements

quickly drawn up and notarized,

for the benefit of all,

by a neutral third party.

(The Nuthatch, perhaps.)

— C.Birde, 7/17

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